Censorship, fake news, perception management

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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sat Apr 06, 2024 1:43 pm

The BBC’s war against Russia

Declan Hayes

April 5, 2024

The warmongering of the BBC against Syria, Russia and a host of other countries has cost more lives than we could ever count.

With the recent Crocus City terror attack in Moscow, MI6’s BBC outlet has again revealed itself as chief cheerleader, if not chief co-conspirator for indiscriminate mass murder. No sooner had MI6’s little helpers carried out this outrage than the BBC was busy covering their tracks by attempting to verify if the attacks in fact took place. On Tuesday 26th March, four full days after the massacre, the BBC’s Verify unit were still trying to discredit Russia’s investigation and to clear MI6, the CIA and their Ukrainian puppets of any and all involvement in this atrocity.

Let me put MI6 right on a couple of things. It is the job of the Russian police force to investigate such crimes and to bring to justice in this world, if not the next, all of those involved in this and related massacres. It is not the job of the BBC or similarly tainted outlets to play amateur detective. Their job is to report the facts as they know them and not to try to concoct fictions that suit MI6’s war aims or their own career ambitions.

And, though that applies to all media outlets, it applies in particular to the BBC, which has been unable to verify who blew up the Nordstream pipeline and which singularly failed to examine miscarriages of justice against innocent Irish and British citizens arrested over IRA outrages. Because life is short, the BBC should do us all a favour, stop spreading this puerile misinformation about the Crocus City attack, and confine itself to commenting on croquet and cricket matches. Aunty should stick to her knitting and leave adult investigations to adult investigators.

If that is too much, then the BBC should, in conjunction with Russia Today, interview Britain’s top detectives to see if they can shed any professional light on these crimes. If not, they should just stfu and refrain from being cheerleaders for fascism. Simple as.

Strange as it seems, I have a dog in this little fight myself. Page 14 of the September 17 2017 edition of the Mail on Sunday cites me grassing up Irish passport holder Eyad Sha’ar and his team of Irish jihadists to the Irish Minister for Justice. Not only did Sha’ar perpetrate the slaughter of Shia children in Syria but he previously pulled the same stunt in Afghanistan.

Although his brother Yasar was part of the terrorist cell that perpetrated the October 2002 Moscow Nord-Ost theatre siege, the Irish authorities are unconcerned with any of that. Indeed, MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were lambasted in the media and ignored in the Irish Parliament for trying to highlight Sha’ar’s Syrian war crimes against defenceless little Shia children and I had credible threats made to my life by Irish residents over it when I paid for British MP George Galloway to chair a Dublin meeting with relatives of the Syrian martyrs of that war crime.

The importance of all of this is we have Irish born and Irish domiciled passport holders committing war crimes in Syria, Russia and other countries on MI6’s hit list and, assuming innocent children should not be fair game, it should not be left to me, to Galloway and to the Russian authorities to shine a spotlight on these terrorist fish who swim in the waters the BBC and the Irish authorities so readily replenish them with.

But let’s get back to the BBC’s shenanigans in Russia, which recently had a Presidential election, which Vladimir Putin, the incumbent, comfortably won. Now, as Putin has presided over rapid economic growth, as he is fighting a war Russia must win in Ukraine and as he has considerable swathes of Russian civil society backing him, Putin should have been a shoe in and thus a non-story.

Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Russia correspondent, would have none of that. To him, everything in Russia is crooked and Putin, in Rosenberg’s supplied script, is a one dimensional James Bond villain.

Perhaps Rosenberg, being British, is right, and Putin and the rest of them are not up to the job. But that begs the question what is the job of Russia’s leaders. I would contend part of their job description should be to eject Rosenberg and other BBC assets who denigrate Russia and Russians head first out of Russia (Ukraine is only a short swim across the Black Sea away). But then it is not my call, just as it was not my call how to handle MI6’s Pussy Riot collaborators in Sochi.

If it was up to me, I would not spare the rod and spare MI6’s child. But then Putin and his buddies have to play things their way with the full array of information available to tackle the various bottlenecks they face. Though Russian leadership is a tricky business, those at Moscow’s helm should be in no doubt who their soft power enemies are. And though the BBC’s cretins could argue they deserve a fool’s perennial pardon, they should know that the old maxim that all is fair in love and war is a two edged sword. Even if Russia keeps her sword sheathed, she should keep it razor sharp for when she must draw it against these arrogant BBC agents and those Russian traitors who collude with them.

If all of that sounds a trifle harsh, there is an old saying that loose lips cost lives. The warmongering of the BBC against Syria, Russia and a host of other countries has cost more lives than we could ever count. Perhaps MI6, the BBC and NATO will win again and the world will be consigned to another century or so of darkness. Who is to know? All I know is that I hope the Russian authorities even the score a bit not only against MI6’s Tajiki helpers but against those, like the BBC, who are as culpable as any of the knuckle draggers they employ to do their killing.

https://strategic-culture.su/news/2024/ ... st-russia/

The pathetic former Empire, desperate to maintain some relevance with it's successor, goes the extra mile to display it's value to the US, both through propaganda and asymmetrical warfare(the only kind it is capable of against a 'peer'). Since the hot war in Syria at least the proliferation of Limey accents in broadcast news is notable, as is their exaggerated to histrionic reportage. If not spooks then wannabes...
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Tue Apr 09, 2024 1:14 pm

An Agency for International Development flag flies in front of USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. Graeme Sloan. (Sipa via AP)

USAID’s disinformation primer: Global censorship in the name of democracy
By Alan MacLeod (Posted Apr 09, 2024)

Originally published: MintPress News on March 21, 2024 (more by MintPress News) |

A report from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) outlines how the government agency has been encouraging governments, tech platforms, establishment media outlets and advertisers to work together to censor huge swaths of the Internet. The 97-page “disinformation primer,” obtained by conservative firm America First Legal under the Freedom of Information Act, purports to be fighting fake news. However, much of the organization’s focus appears to be on preventing individuals from finding information online that challenges official narratives and leads to increased questioning of the system more generally.

The document calls for regulating video games and online message boards, steering individuals away from alternative media and back towards more elite-friendly sites, and for governments to work with advertisers to cripple organizations that refuse to toe official lines financially. Furthermore, it highlights government-backed fact-checking groups like Bellingcat, Graphika, and the Atlantic Council as leaders in the fight against disinformation, despite the fact that those groups have close connections to the national security state, which is an overwhelming conflict of interest.

The news that a government agency is promoting such a program is worrying enough. However, we shall also see how USAID itself has promoted fake news to push for regime change abroad.

USAID’s primer identifies three kinds of information that it wishes to combat. In addition to misinformation (false information spread by those who believe it to be true) and disinformation (false information proliferated with intent to deceive), it states that “malinformation” is also a serious threat. Malinformation is speech that is factually correct but has been deemed misleading or taken out of context. Under this broad definition, any reporting or arguments, no matter their accuracy, could potentially be throttled online if it is deemed unhelpful or inconvenient to USAID and its interests.

While the report spends much time condemning enemy nations—particularly Russia and China—USAID appears much more concerned with clamping down on independent media and open spaces where alternative information and opinions can be found. As they write:

Discussions on disinformation and misinformation often revolve around assumptions of state actors driving the issue. However, problematic information more regularly originates from networks of alternative sites and anonymous individuals who have created their own ‘alt media’ online spaces.

The report identifies platforms like Reddit, Discord and 4Chan as “conspiracy websites” that can help groups create “populist expertise” to develop alternative opinions and challenge official U.S. government narratives. These, alongside gaming websites, must be challenged and marginalized.


While wishing to stop disinformation is, in principle, a noble goal, the past decade has seen U.S. government agencies work hand-in-glove with Silicon Valley corporations to throttle the reach of alternative media that scrutinize and challenge their power and prop up establishment outlets that bolster Washington’s ambitions. All of this has been done under the banner of fighting fake news. MintPress News has been under constant attack from these groups, particularly since the 2016 election. This is hinted at in the report, which bemoans that “Because traditional information systems are failing, some opinion leaders are casting doubt on the media.”

Chief among the methods USAID outlines to suppress independent media is what it calls “advertiser outreach”—in effect, threatening advertisers into cutting ties with marginal or niche websites. “In order to disrupt the funding and financial incentive to disinform, attention has also turned to the advertising industry, particularly with online advertising,” the report explains. “Cutting this financial support found in the ad-tech space” would, it continues,

[O]bstruct disinformation actors from spreading messaging online. Efforts have been made to inform advertisers of their risks, such as the threat to brand safety by being placed next to objectionable content, through conducting research and assessments of online media content.
Additionally, USAID states it hopes to “redirect funding to higher-quality news domains, improve regulatory and market environments, and support innovative and sustainable models for increasing revenues and reach.” In other words, it wants to use its power to move consumers away from alternative media and back into legacy news outlets that have seen a massive cratering in public trust precisely because viewers have been exposed to online content that highlights how poorly they cover the news. The report takes as a given that the establishment press are standard-bearers for truth rather than gigantic, multibillion-dollar international empires with long histories of publishing demonstrably false or biased stories.

Another recommended method is to “psychologically inoculate” the population, “prebunking” disinformation before it arises by predicting it and taking steps against it before it occurs. This might include “discrediting the brand, the credibility and reputation of those making false allegations”—a line that might suggest launching attacks against whomever USAID deems bad actors.

The report also suggests tracking users who view mis-, dis- or malinformation and redirecting them to curated YouTube videos debunking or arguing against those positions.


The Internet and social media were not always the powerful political and social force they are today. But by the 2008 and 2012 elections, they had grown influential enough to prove decisive. Barack Obama’s team skillfully microtargeted voters on Facebook and other sites, helping him to two successive terms in the White House.

However, by 2016, the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis left tens of millions of Americans angry and desperate. Populist forces from both the left and the right arose to challenge the political consensus. While the Democrats were able to successfully neutralize any left-wing challengers, Donald Trump managed to take over the Republican Party and score an unlikely electoral victory despite virtually the entire establishment media endorsing his opponent.

Trump’s success alarmed the establishment in Washington, which quickly identified social and alternative media as the key driving force behind Trump’s victory. The Internet, they decided, was far too powerful to be left alone. It was no longer a fringe space but a major driving force in shaping public imagination and debate.

In the wake of the 2016 election, a huge campaign against the scourge of fake news was launched, as platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube changed their algorithms in order to demote “marginal” content and promote authoritative sources. The upshot of this, however, was that high-quality alternative news sites saw their traffic decimated overnight, and establishment media like CNN and NBC News, which had been failing in the online arena, were promoted to the top of the search results.

One example of this was the case of PropOrNot, a shadowy group that claimed to have used sophisticated analytical software to identify hundreds of websites that were “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” Included on the list were WikiLeaks and (then) Trump-supporting websites like The Drudge Report, libertarian vehicles like Antiwar.com and The Ron Paul Institute, and a host of more left-aligned outlets such as Truthout and The Black Agenda Report. MintPress News was also included. Therefore, while PropOrNot’s list did include many fake news websites, it also represented a blacklist of dozens of sites critical of the establishment Beltway.

PropOrNot’s findings were heralded and signal-boosted the world over by establishment media, keen to see their rivals censored. The mounting pressure led Google and other platforms to drastically alter their algorithms to suppress alternative media. Almost overnight, MintPress News lost around 90% of its Google search traffic and over 99% of its reach on Facebook.

However, it was not just radical alternative media that were punished. Democracy Now! saw its Google search traffic fall by 36%, and The Intercept fell by 19%. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted in an interview that his platform intentionally throttled traffic to liberal news outlet Mother Jones explicitly because of its mildly left-of-center outlook.

It is now known that PropOrNot was not a neutral, independent organization but was very likely the creation of Michael Weiss, a nonresident senior fellow at NATO think tank the Atlantic Council. Thus, the whole hysteria about (foreign) government interference in elections was sparked by a quasi-governmental organization itself.

Since 2016, social media platforms have moved increasingly closer to the U.S. national security state. MintPress News investigations have uncovered how hundreds of former agents from the C.I.A., F.B.I. and the State Department now work in key positions at Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter, helping to shape those companies’ content policies. Some USAID officials have made the jump to social media as well. Mike Bradow, for example, left his job as deputy director of policy at USAID in 2020 to become a misinformation policy manager at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The revelations about how a government agency wishes to push such a radical censorship agenda are alarming enough. Worse still, USAID itself has a long track record of promoting disinformation in order to advance U.S. interests.

In 2021, the organization was behind an attempted Color Revolution (a pro-U.S. insurrection) in Cuba. USAID has long interfered in Cuban politics, devising a myriad of schemes, including infiltrating the country’s hip-hop scene and attempting to organize it as a revolutionary, anti-government force.

Eleven years earlier, USAID secretly created a Cuban social media app called Zunzuneo. None of the app’s tens of thousands of users were aware that the U.S. government had secretly designed and marketed it to them. The idea was to create a great service that would take over Cuba and slowly start feeding the population regime-change propaganda and directing them to protests and “smart mobs” aimed at triggering the overthrow of the government.

USAID was also intimately involved in the 2002 coup d’etat in Venezuela, which saw the temporary overthrow of democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez and his replacement with a pro-U.S. dictator. Since then, USAID has consistently attempted to subvert Venezuelan democracy, including by funding self-declared president Juan Guaidó. The organization was even at the center of a disastrous 2019 stunt where U.S.-backed figures attempted to drive trucks full of USAID “aid” into the country, only to light the cargo on fire themselves and blame the government. Few in Venezuela or abroad fell for their performance.

The report sets its sights on gamers and online video games, calling for them to be regulated in the same manner as social media platforms. Extremists, they note, can spread false information on gaming platforms such as Twitch, which “enable users to coordinate to grow followers and spread content to large social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.” “In this way, platforms that cater to very niche and small audiences have significant influence,” they explain.

It also warns that satire can be a major source of misinformation. While this is potentially true, the past decade has seen notable satirists that critique power and the status quo, such as Lee Camp, chased off multiple platforms, suggesting that certain types of satire might pique the ire of censors far more than others.

Perhaps almost as worrying as what USAID designates as problematic areas in need of regulation is whom it identifies as the “good guys” in the fight against false information. One of them is the Atlantic Council, the Defense Department-funded think tank with no fewer than seven former heads of the C.I.A. on its board. The Atlantic Council was founded as a NATO offshoot project and still acts as the organization’s intellectual headquarters. Yet USAID describes them simply as a “nonpartisan organization that galvanizes U.S. leadership and engagement in the world, with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges,” lauding them for their “international work” and their “democratic defense against disinformation.”

Other groups identified as leading the fight against disinformation are Graphika and Bellingcat, two more groups that purport to be independent fact-checkers. However, as MintPress has previously detailed, they are quietly funded by the U.S. government and serve as mouthpieces for Washington, disseminating reports attacking official enemies and casting Western nations as leading the fight against misinformation.

In addition to this, the report mentions the German Marshall Fund’s Hamilton 2.0 dashboard as a useful tool, despite the fact that the previous Hamilton dashboard was very publicly exposed as useless in identifying Russian bots and fake information. As the Twitter Files revealed, Twitter/X’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, complained that the Hamilton dashboard caught barely any Russian bots and that virtually any conservative American, Canadian or British person was liable to be labeled as such. Roth dismissed the Hamilton dashboard as complete “bullshit.”

While the Hamilton dashboard was ineffective at identifying genuine sources of fake news, it certainly did provide some form of intellectual justification for suppressing large numbers of people who challenged the establishment status quo from social media. And that is a microcosm of the larger fact-checking and anti-fake news industry as a whole. Trust in media and public institutions, more generally, has been crumbling for decades. But the response from Washington has not been to attempt to win back the public’s support. Rather, it has attempted to stamp out any alternative ideas or means of communication in order to maintain its grip on power. The release of this report into the public domain and the revelations about how USAID understands misinformation and wishes to deal with it will likely do nothing to repair public confidence in the government. In fact, it is clear to see why they did not want this released in the first place.

https://mronline.org/2024/04/09/usaids- ... on-primer/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Wed Apr 17, 2024 2:54 pm

Chris Hedges: Requiem for The NYT
April 17, 2024

Reality rarely penetrates the Byzantine and self-referential court of the paper, which was on full display at the recent memorial for Joe Lelyveld, who died earlier this year.

Requiem for The New York Times – by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges
in New York

I am sitting in the auditorium at The New York Times. It is the first time I have been back in nearly two decades. It will be the last.

The newspaper is a pale reflection of what it was when I worked there, beset by numerous journalistic fiascos, rudderless leadership and myopic cheerleading of the military debacles in the Middle East, Ukraine and the genocide in Gaza, where one of the Times contributions to the mass slaughter of Palestinians was an editorial refusing to back an unconditional ceasefire. Many seated in the auditorium are culpable.

I am here, however, not for them but for the former executive editor they are honoring, Joe Lelyveld, who died earlier this year. He hired me. His departure from the Times marked the paper’s steep descent.

On the front page of the program of the memorial, the year of his death is incorrect — emblematic of the sloppiness of a newspaper that is riddled with typos and errors.

Reporters I admire, including Gretchen Morgenson and David Cay Johnston, who are in the auditorium, were pushed out once Lelyveld left, replaced by mediocrities.

Lelyveld’s successor Howell Raines – who had no business running a newspaper – singled out the serial fabulist and plagiarizer, Jayson Blair, for swift advancement and alienated the newsroom through a series of tone deaf editorial decisions.

Reporters and editors rose up in revolt. He was forced out along with his equally incompetent managing editor.

Lelyveld came back for a brief interim. But the senior editors who followed were of little improvement. They were full-throated propagandists – Tony Judt called them “Bush’s useful idiots” – for the war in Iraq. They were true believers in the weapons of mass destruction.

They suppressed, at the government’s request, an expose by James Risen about warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the National Security Agency until the paper found out it would appear in Risen’s book.

They peddled for two years the fiction that Donald Trump was a Russian asset. They ignored the contents from Hunter Biden’s laptop that had evidence of multimillion dollar influence peddling and labeled it “Russian disinformation.”

Bill Keller, who served as executive editor after Lelyveld, described Julian Assange, the most courageous journalist and publisher of our generation, as “a narcissistic dick, and nobody’s idea of a journalist.”

The editors decided identity, rather than corporate pillage with its mass layoffs of 30 million workers, was the reason for Trump’s rise, leading them to deflect attention from the root cause of our economic, political and cultural morass. Of course, that deflection saved them from confronting corporations, such as Chevron, which are advertisers.

They produced a podcast series called Caliphate, based on invented stories of a con artist. They most recently ran a story by three journalists — including one who had never before worked as a reporter and had ties with Israeli intelligence, Anat Schwartz, who was subsequently fired after it was disclosed that she “liked” genocidal posts against Palestinians on Twitter — on what they called “systematic” sexual abuse and rape by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions on Oct. 7.

It also turned out to be unsubstantiated. None of this would have happened under Lelyveld.

Reality rarely penetrates the Byzantine and self-referential court of The New York Times, which was on full display at Lelyveld’s memorial.

The former editors spoke — Gene Roberts being an exception — with a cloying noblesse oblige, enthralled with their own splendor. Lelyveld became a vehicle to revel in their privilege, an unwitting advertisement for why the institution is so woefully out of touch and why so many reporters and much of the public despise those who run it.

We were regaled with all the perks of elitism: Harvard. Summers in Maine. Vacationing in Italy and France. Snorkeling in a coral reef at a Philippine resort. Living in Hampstead in London. The country house in New Paltz. Taking a barge down the Canal du Midi. Visits to the Prado. Opera at The Met.

Luis Buñuel and Evelyn Waugh skewered these kinds of people. Lelyveld was part of the club, but that was something I would have left for the chatter at the reception, which I skipped. That was not why the handful of reporters in the room were there.

Lelyveld, despite some attempts by the speakers to convince us otherwise, was morose and acerbic. His nickname in the newsroom was “the undertaker.” As he walked past desks, reporters and editors would try to avoid his glance. He was socially awkward, given to long pauses and a disconcerting breathy laugh that no one knew how to read.

He could be, like all the popes who run the church of The New York Times, mean and vindictive. I am sure he could also be nice and sensitive, but this was not the aura he projected. In the newsroom he was Ahab, not Starbuck.

I asked him if I could take a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard after covering the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, wars that capped nearly two decades of reporting on conflicts in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

“No,” he said. “It costs me money and I lose a good reporter.”

I persisted until he finally told the foreign editor, Andrew Rosenthal, “tell Hedges he can take the Nieman and go to hell.”

“Don’t do it,” Andy, whose father was the executive editor before Lelyveld, warned. “They will make you pay when you come back.”

Of course, I took the Nieman.

The New York Times building. (Thomas Hawk, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Halfway through the year Lelyveld called.

“What are you studying?” he asked.

“Classics,” I answered.

“Like Latin?” he asked.

“Exactly,” I said.

There was a pause.

“Well,” he said, “I guess you can cover the Vatican.”

He hung up.

When I returned, he put me in purgatory. I was parked on the metropolitan desk without a beat or assignment. On many days I stayed at home and read Fyodor Dostoevsky. At least I got my paycheck. But he wanted me to know I was nothing.

I met with him in his office after a couple of months. It was like talking to a wall.

“Do you remember how to write a story?” he asked, caustically.

I had not yet, in his eyes, been suitably domesticated.

I walked out of his office.

“That guy is a fucking asshole,” I said to the editors at the desks in front of me.

“If you don’t think that got back to him in 30 seconds you are very naïve,” an editor told me later.

I did not care. I was struggling, often through too much drinking at night to blot out my nightmares, with trauma from many years in war zones, trauma in which neither Lelyveld nor anyone else at the paper took the slightest interest.

I had far greater demons to battle than a vindictive newspaper editor. And I did not love The New York Times enough to become its lapdog. If they kept it up, I would leave, which I soon did.

I say all this to make it clear that Lelyveld was not admired by reporters because of his charm or personality. He was admired because he was brilliant, literate, a gifted writer and reporter and set high standards. He was admired because he cared about the craft of reporting. He saved those of us who could write — a surprising number of reporters are not great writers — from the dead hand of copy editors.

He did not look at a leak by an administration official as gospel. He cared about the world of ideas. He made sure the book review section had gravitas, a gravitas that disappeared once he left. He distrusted militarists. (His father had been a conscientious objector in World War II, although later became an outspoken Zionist and apologist for Israel.)

This, frankly, was all we wanted as reporters. We did not want him to be our friend. We already had friends. Other reporters.

He came to see me in Bosnia in 1996 shortly after his father died. I was so absorbed in a collection of short stories by V.S. Pritchett that I lost track of the time. I looked up to find him standing over me. He did not seem to mind. He, too, read voraciously. Books were a connection. Once, early in my career, we met in his office. He quoted from memory lines from William Butler Yeats’ poem, “Adam’s Curse”:

…A line will take us hours maybe;

Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,

Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.

Better go down upon your marrow-bones

And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones

Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;

For to articulate sweet sounds together

Is to work harder than all these, and yet

Be thought an idler by the noisy set

Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen

The martyrs call the world.

“You still have to find your voice,” he told me.

We were the sons of clergymen. His father was a rabbi. Mine was a Presbyterian minister. Our fathers had participated in the civil rights and anti-war movements. But that is where our family similarities ended.

He had a deeply troubled childhood and distant relationship with his father and mother, who suffered from nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts. There were long periods when he did not see his parents, shuttled off to friends and relatives, where he wondered as a child if he was worthless or even loved, the subject of his memoir Omaha Blues.

We rode in my armored jeep to Sarajevo. It was after the war. In the darkness he talked about his father’s funeral, the hypocrisy of pretending that the children from the first marriage got along with the family of the second marriage, as if, he said, “we were all one happy family.” He was bitter and hurt.

Cutting firewood in Sarajevo during wars that broke up Yugoslavia, 1993. (Christian Maréchal/Wikimedia Commons)

He writes in his memoir of a rabbi named Ben, who “had zero interest in possessions,” and was a surrogate father. Ben had, in the 1930s, challenged racial segregation from his synagogue in Montgomery, Alabama.

White clergy standing up for Blacks in the south was rare in the 1960s. It was almost unheard of in the 1930s. Ben invited Black ministers to his home. He collected food and clothing for the families of sharecroppers who in July 1931 after the sheriff and his deputies broke up a union meeting had engaged in a shoot-out. The sharecroppers were on the run and being hunted in Tallapoosa County. His sermons, preached at the height of the Depression, called for economic and social justice.

He visited the Black men on death row in the Scottsboro case — all of them unjustly charged with rape — and held rallies to raise money for their defense. The board of his temple passed a formal resolution appointing a committee “to go to Rabbi Goldstein and ask him to desist from going to Birmingham under all circumstances and desist from doing anything further in the Scottsboro case.”

Ben ignored them. He was finally forced out by his congregation because, as a member wrote, he had been “preaching and practicing social equality,” and “consorting with radicals and reds.”

Ben later participated in the American League Against War and Fascism and the American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy during the Spanish civil war, groups that included communists. He defended those purged in the anti-communist witch hunts, including the Hollywood Ten, spearheaded by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, center, confers with Roy Cohn, chief counsel for House Un-American Activities Committee, Aug. 23, 1953. (Los Angeles Times/UCLA Library/Wikimedia Commons)

Ben, who was close to the communist party and was perhaps at one point a member, was blacklisted, including by Lelyveld’s father who was running the Hillel Foundation. Lelyveld, in a few torturous pages, seeks to absolve his father, who consulted the F.B.I. before firing Ben, for this betrayal.

Ben fell victim to what the historian Ellen Schrecker in Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America calls “the most widespread and longest lasting wave of political repression in American history.”

“In order to eliminate the alleged threat of domestic Communism, a broad coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, and other anticommunist activists hounded an entire generation of radicals and their associates, destroying lives, careers, and all the institutions that offered a left-wing alternative to mainstream politics and culture,” she writes.

This crusade, she goes on, “used all the power of the state to turn dissent into disloyalty and, in the process, drastically narrowed the spectrum of acceptable political debate.”

Lelyveld’s father was not unique in succumbing to pressure, but what I find fascinating, and perhaps revealing, is Lelyveld’s decision to blame Ben for his own persecution.

“Any appeal to Ben Lowell to be prudent would have instantly summoned to his mind the appeals made to Ben Goldstein [he later changed his last name to Lowell] in Montgomery seventeen years earlier when, with his job clearly on the line, he’d never hesitated about speaking at the black church in defiance of his trustees,” Lelyveld writes. “His latent Ezekiel complex again kicked in.”

Lelyveld missed the hero of his own memoir.

Lelyveld left the paper before the attacks of 9/11. I denounced the calls to invade Iraq — I had been the newspaper’s Middle East bureau chief — on shows such as Charlie Rose.

I was booed off stages, attacked relentlessly on Fox News and right-wing radio and the subject of a Wall Street Journal editorial. The message bank on my office phone was filled with death threats. I was given a written reprimand by the paper to stop speaking out against the war. If I violated the reprimand, I would be fired. Lelyveld, if he was still running the paper, would not have tolerated my breach of etiquette.

Lelyveld might dissect apartheid in South Africa in his book, Move Your Shadow, but the cost of dissecting it in Israel would have seen him, like Ben, blacklisted. He did not cross those lines. He played by the rules. He was a company man.

I would never find my voice in the straightjacket of The New York Times. I had no fidelity to the institution. The very narrow parameters it set were not ones I could accept. This, in the end, was the chasm between us.

The theologian Paul Tillich writes that all institutions are inherently demonic, that the moral life usually requires, at some point, that we defy institutions, even at the cost of our careers.

Lelyveld, while endowed with integrity and brilliance, was not willing to make this commitment. But he was the best the institution offered us. He cared deeply about what we do and he did his best to protect it.

The newspaper has not recovered since his departure.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/04/17/c ... r-the-nyt/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Fri Apr 26, 2024 3:50 pm

Chris Hedges: Revolt in the Universities
April 25, 2024

University students across the country, facing mass arrests, suspensions, evictions and expulsions are our last, best hope to halt the genocide in Gaza.

Where have all the flowers gone? – Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges
in Princeton, N.J.

Achinthya Sivalingam, a graduate student in Public Affairs at Princeton University did not know when she woke up this morning that shortly after 7 a.m. she would join hundreds of students across the country who have been arrested, evicted and banned from campus for protesting the genocide in Gaza.

She wears a blue sweatshirt, sometimes fighting back tears, when I speak to her. We are seated at a small table in the Small World Coffee shop on Witherspoon Street, half a block away from the university she can no longer enter, from the apartment she can no longer live in and from the campus where in a few weeks she was scheduled to graduate.

She wonders where she will spend the night.

The police gave her five minutes to collect items from her apartment.

“I grabbed really random things,” she says. “I grabbed oatmeal for whatever reason. I was really confused.”

Student protesters across the country exhibit a moral and physical courage — many are facing suspension and expulsion — that shames every major institution in the country. They are dangerous not because they disrupt campus life or engage in attacks on Jewish students — many of those protesting are Jewish — but because they expose the abject failure by the ruling elites and their institutions to halt genocide, the crime of crimes.

These students watch, like most of us, Israel’s live-streamed slaughter of the Palestinian people. But unlike most of us, they act. Their voices and protests are a potent counterpoint to the moral bankruptcy that surrounds them.

Not one university president has denounced Israel’s destruction of every university in Gaza. Not one university president has called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Not one university president has used the words “apartheid” or “genocide.” Not one university president has called for sanctions and divestment from Israel.

Instead, heads of these academic institutions grovel supinely before wealthy donors, corporations — including weapons manufacturers — and rabid right-wing politicians. They reframe the debate around harm to Jews rather than the daily slaughter of Palestinians, including thousands of children.

They have allowed the abusers — the Zionist state and its supporters — to paint themselves as victims. This false narrative, which focuses on anti-Semitism, allows the centers of power, including the media, to block out the real issue — genocide. It contaminates the debate. It is a classic case of “reactive abuse.” Raise your voice to decry injustice, react to prolonged abuse, attempt to resist, and the abuser suddenly transforms themself into the aggrieved.

Princeton University, like other universities across the country, is determined to halt encampments calling for an end to the genocide. This, it appears, is a coordinated effort by universities across the country.

The encampment at George Washington University in Washington D.C. (Joe Lauria)

The university knew about the proposed encampment in advance. When the students reached the five staging sites this morning, they were met by large numbers from the university’s Department of Public Safety and the Princeton Police Department.

The site of the proposed encampment in front of Firestone Library was filled with police. This is despite the fact that students kept their plans off of university emails and confined to what they thought were secure apps. Standing among the police this morning was Rabbi Eitan Webb, who founded and heads Princeton’s Chabad House. He has attended university events to vocally attack those who call for an end to the genocide as anti-semites, according to student activists.

As the some 100 protesters listened to speakers, a helicopter circled noisily overhead. A banner, hanging from a tree, read: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free.”

The students said they would continue their protest until Princeton divests from firms that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s ongoing military campaign” in Gaza, ends university research “on weapons of war” funded by the Department of Defense, enacts an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions, supports Palestinian academic and cultural institutions and advocates for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

But if the students again attempt to erect tents – they took down 14 tents once the two arrests were made this morning – it seems certain they will all be arrested.

“It is far beyond what I expected to happen,” says Aditi Rao, a doctoral student in classics. “They started arresting people seven minutes into the encampment.”

Statue of George Washington draped in Palestinian flag at protest on Thursday at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (Joe Lauria)

A Threat

Princeton Vice President of Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun sent out a mass email on Wednesday warning students they could be arrested and thrown off campus if they erected an encampment.

“Any individual involved in an encampment, occupation, or other unlawful disruptive conduct who refuses to stop after a warning will be arrested and immediately barred from campus,” she wrote. “For students, such exclusion from campus would jeopardize their ability to complete the semester.”

These students, she added, could be suspended or expelled.

Sivalingam ran into one of her professors and pleaded with him for faculty support for the protest. He informed her he was coming up for tenure and could not participate. The course he teaches is called “Ecological Marxism.”

“It was a bizarre moment,” she says. “I spent last semester thinking about ideas and evolution and civil change, like social change. It was a crazy moment.”

She starts to cry.

A few minutes after 7 a.m, police distributed a leaflet to the students erecting tents with the headline “Princeton University Warning and No Trespass Notice.” The leaflet stated that the students were “engaged in conduct on Princeton University property that violates University rules and regulations, poses a threat to the safety and property of others, and disrupts the regular operations of the University: such conduct includes participating in an encampment and/or disrupting a University event.” The leaflet said those who engaged in the “prohibited conduct” would be considered a “Defiant Trespasser under New Jersey criminal law (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3) and subject to immediate arrest.”

A few seconds later Sivalingam heard a police officer say “Get those two.”

Hassan Sayed, a doctoral student in economics who is of Pakistani descent, was working with Sivalingam to erect one of tents. He was handcuffed. Sivalingam was zip tied so tightly it cut off circulation to her hands. There are dark bruises circling her wrists.

“There was an initial warning from cops about ‘You are trespassing’ or something like that, ‘This is your first warning,’” Sayed says. “It was kind of loud. I didn’t hear too much. Suddenly, hands were thrust behind my back. As this happened, my right arm tensed a bit and they said ‘You are resisting arrest if you do that.’ They put the handcuffs on.”

He was asked by one of the arresting officers if he was a student. When he said he was, they immediately informed him that he was banned from campus.

“No mention of what charges are as far as I could hear,” he says. “I get taken to one car. They pat me down a bit. They ask for my student ID.”

Sayed was placed in the back of a campus police car with Sivalingam, who was in agony from the zip ties. He asked the police to loosen the zip ties on Sivalingam, a process that took several minutes as they had to remove her from the vehicle and the scissors were unable to cut through the plastic. They had to find wire cutters. They were taken to the university’s police station.

Sayed was stripped of his phone, keys, clothes, backpack and AirPods and placed in a holding cell. No one read him his Miranda rights.

He was again told he was banned from the campus.

“Is this an eviction?” he asked the campus police.

The police did not answer.

He asked to call a lawyer. He was told he could call a lawyer when the police were ready.

“They may have mentioned something about trespassing but I don’t remember clearly,” he says. “It certainly was not made salient to me.”

He was told to fill out forms about his mental health and if he was on medication. Then he was informed he was being charged with “defiant trespassing.”

“I say, ‘I’m a student, how is that trespassing? I attend school here,’” he says. “They really don’t seem to have a good answer. I reiterate, asking whether me being banned from campus constitutes eviction, because I live on campus. They just say, ‘ban from campus.’ I said something like that doesn’t answer the question. They say it will all be explained in the letter. I’m like, ‘Who is writing the letter?’ ‘Dean of grad school’ they respond.”

Sayed was driven to his campus housing. The campus police did not let him have his keys. He was given a few minutes to grab items like his phone charger. They locked his apartment door. He, too, is seeking shelter in the Small World Coffee shop.

Sivalingam often returned to Tamil Nadu in southern India, where she was born, for her summer vacations. The poverty and daily struggle of those around her, to survive, she says, was “sobering.”

“The disparity of my life and theirs, how to reconcile how those things exist in the same world,” she says, her voice quivering with emotion. “It was always very bizarre to me. I think that’s where a lot of my interest in addressing inequality, in being able to think about people outside of the United States as humans, as people who deserve lives and dignity, comes from.”

She must adjust now to being exiled from campus.

“I gotta find somewhere to sleep,” she says, “tell my parents, but that’s going to be a little bit of a conversation, and find ways to engage in jail support and communications because I can’t be there, but I can continue to mobilize.”

There are many shameful periods in American history. The genocide we carried out against indigenous peoples. Slavery. The violent suppression of the labor movement that saw hundreds of workers killed. Lynching. Jim and Jane Crow. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya.

The genocide in Gaza, which we fund and support, is of such monstrous proportions that it will achieve a prominent place in this pantheon of crimes.

History will not be kind to most of us. But it will bless and revere these students.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/04/25/c ... versities/


Netanyahu calls for crackdown on pro-Palestine protesters in the U.S.
By Dave DeCamp (Posted Apr 26, 2024)

Originally published: Antiwar.com on April 24, 2024 (more by Antiwar.com)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called for a crackdown on Americans protesting against Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza at college campuses across the United States.

“What’s happening in America’s college campuses is horrific. Antisemitic mobs have taken over leading universities,” Netanyahu said. His comments echoed President Biden, who labeled the demonstrations “antisemitic protests.”

At some American universities, police have arrested and dispersed protesters, but Netanyahu said more should be done. “Now, fortunately, state, local, federal officials, many of them have responded differently but there has to be more. More has to be done,” Netanyahu said.

Israeli Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid also called for a crackdown on the protests. “What’s happening on American college campuses is unforgivable,” he wrote on X.

It is antisemitism, it is support for terrorism, it is support for Hamas which murders LGBT people and oppresses women. The administration cannot stand by, it has to intervene.

Texas state troopers broke up a protest at Texas University in Austin on Wednesday and reportedly arrested at least 10 students. The protesters were demanding that the university divest from manufacturing companies that supply weapons to the Israeli military.

Israel supporters in the US have also falsely labeled the demonstrations across the country as “antisemitic,” but many Jewish students are involved in pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses, including at the protest at Columbia University. Netanyahu took the smear a step further and claimed the protesters wanted to “kill Jews.”

“We see this exponential rise of antisemitism throughout America and throughout Western societies as Israel tries to defend itself against genocidal terrorists, genocidal terrorists who hide behind civilians,” Netanyahu said.

https://mronline.org/2024/04/26/netanya ... n-the-u-s/

Who in the fuck does he think he is? Oh, never mind...


Free Speech on the Ropes: Legislation to Revoke Not-for-Profit Status of Organizations that Support Palestine Protests Passes in House
Posted on April 26, 2024 by Yves Smith

Chuck L alerted me to an important tweetstorm by Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace about legislation that is designed to drop a hammer on not-for-profits that are deemed to be supporting pro-Palestine protests by revoking their not-for-profit status. As Friedman explains, this bill, H.R. 6408, also removes pretty much all due process rights, so its targets have effectively no recourse. The pretext is that pro-Palestine protests are supporting terrorist organizations, as in Hamas.

This measures is so far under the radar that so far, only Friedman and Matthew Petti at Reason seem to have noticed it. And Petti has pointed out that the Secretary of the Treasury can designate any organization to be “terrorist-supporting organization,” so the does not think, as Friedman seems to, that any other measures are needed to allow an Administration to try to financially cripple not-for-profits engaging in wrong speech.

Note that the messaging depicting Hamas as somehow behind the campus protests has increased:

Speaker Mike Johnson, claiming that Hamas supports the pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University and other U.S. colleges, has threatened congressional intervention, including pulling federal funding from the institutions.

And Aljazeera has already produced evidence of Zionist groups trying to stoke confrontations at the demonstrations (hat tip Erasmus):

🇵🇸🇮🇱🇺🇸 PROOF Pro-Israel groups pay "protestors" 50k to smear students and activists

Footage from an undercover Al Jazeera investigation leaked after getting blocked from being released in the US shows pro-Israel demonstrations of American college students astroturfed from the… Show more

Mind you, not-for-profits are already subject to mission and censorship pressures by large donors, witness the billionaires who loudly said they would halt donations to Ivy League schools if they “tolerated anti-Semitism,” as in did not quash criticism of Israel. But as you will see, this is a whole different level of censorship.

First, we are hoisting Friedman’s entire tweetstorm. She stresses that not only does this bill create a star chamber when existing laws allow for crackwdowns on terrorist supports, but that it could be easily extended to other types of establishment-threatening speech.


Petti at Reason is more pointed. From This Bill Would Give the Treasury Nearly Unlimited Power To Destroy Nonprofits:

A bipartisan bill would give the secretary of the treasury unilateral power to classify any charity as a terrorist-supporting organization, automatically stripping away its nonprofit status….

In theory, the bill is a measure to fight terrorism financing…

Financing terrorism is already very illegal. Anyone who gives money, goods, or services to a U.S.-designated terrorist organization can be charged with a felony under the Antiterrorism Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. And those terrorist organizations are already banned from claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Nine charities have been shut down since 2001 under the law.

The new bill would allow the feds to shut down a charity without an official terrorism designation. It creates a new label called “terrorist-supporting organization” that the secretary of the treasury could slap onto nonprofits, removing their tax exempt status within 90 days. Only the secretary of the treasury could cancel that designation.

In other words, the bill’s authors believe that some charities are too dangerous to give tax exemptions to, but not dangerous enough to take to court. Although the label is supposed to apply to supporters of designated terrorist groups, nothing in the law prevents the Department of the Treasury from shutting down any 501(c)(3) nonprofit, from the Red Cross to the Reason Foundation.

Petti explains that an initial target appears to be Students for Justice in Palestine, which he says have not had enough of an attack surface to be targeted under current law; in fact, Florida governor DeSantis had to shelve a plan to shut down Students for Justice in Palestine when confronted with a lawsuit.

Petti explains that his concerns are not unwarranted:

Under the proposed bill, murky innuendo could be enough to target pro-Palestinian groups. But it likely wouldn’t stop there. After all, during the Obama administration, the IRS put aggressive extra scrutiny on nonprofit groups with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names. And under the Biden administration, the FBI issued a memo on the potential terrorist threat that right-wing Catholics pose.

The Charity and Security Network, a coalition of charities that operate in conflict zones, warned that its own members could be hindered from helping the neediest people in the world.

“Charitable organizations, especially those who work in settings where designated terrorist groups operate, already undergo strict internal due diligence and risk mitigation measures and…face extra scrutiny by the U.S. government, the financial sector, and all actors necessary to operate and conduct financial transactions in such complex settings,” the network declared in November. “This legislation presents dangerous potential as a weapon to be used against civil society in the context of Gaza and beyond.”

Recall how the US has fired on Médecins Sans Frontières staff who were according to the US, assisting bad guys in their relief efforts? Financial sanctions are so much tidier.

I urge readers, and particularly donors, to alert the fundraising and executive staff at not-for-profits, particularly the journalistic sort, so they can object to this legislation. It would likely not survive a Supreme Court challenge in its current form, but that’s an awfully heavy load to have to carry, plus the legislation might not be subject to an injunction in the meantime..

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2024/04 ... house.html

As most non-profits with serious assets are tools/playthings of the rich I dunno how much worse this could make things. Might provide some positive polarization.



Empire Managers Say Russia, China And Iran Are Tricking Students Into Opposing Genocide

It is a very dark kind of hilarious to see imperial spinmeisters falling all over themselves trying to spin the campus protests as a product of imaginary foreign interference even as police launch violent crackdowns on those very same protesters across the United States to advance the interests of a foreign government.

Caitlin Johnstone
April 26, 2024

Empire managers and propagandists are losing their minds about student protests against the genocide in Gaza on university campuses, so naturally we’re seeing a mad push to frame this as the result of interference by Russia, China, Iran and Hamas. These demented conspiracies of foreign influence come even as Israel’s prime minister openly calls for the US government to quash the university protests by any means necessary.

In a speech supporting the ban of TikTok this past Tuesday, Senator Pete Ricketts said the protests are an example of “the Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to skew public opinion on foreign events.”

“Look what’s happening in our college campuses right now around this country,” Ricketts said. “Pro-Hamas activists are taking over public spaces and making it impossible for campuses to operate.”

“Why is this happening?” Ricketts continued. “Well, let’s look at where young people are getting their news. Nearly a third of adults 18 to 29, these young people in the US are regularly getting their news exclusively from TikTok. Pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas hashtags are generating 50 times the views on TikTok right now despite the fact that polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support Israel over Hamas. These videos have more reach than the top 10 news websites combined. This is not coincidence. The Chinese Communist Party is doing this on purpose. They are pushing this racist agenda with the intention of undermining our democratic values. And if you look at what’s happening at Columbia University and other campuses across the country right now, they’re winning.”

These comments from Ricketts are repugnant and deceitful in a whole host of ways, but let’s touch on the big ones.

The senator’s claim that TikTok is being manipulated to artificially amplify pro-Palestine content is false, as evidenced by the fact that TikTok’s US-based rivals Facebook and Instagram have been showing the same massive gaps between the popularity of pro-Palestine content and the popularity of pro-Israel content. His argument is as logically fallacious as claiming that flat earth content is being artificially suppressed because it’s not as popular as round earth content. Pro-Israel content is just less popular, because it sucks and people don’t like it.

Ricketts’ assertion that “polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support Israel over Hamas” is deceitful; polling shows a majority of Americans oppose Israel’s actions in Gaza, regardless of whether they “support” the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Also noteworthy is the way Ricketts just comes right out and acknowledges that TikTok is presenting a problem because its pro-Palestine content has been going viral among young people in ways the legacy media can’t compete with. This amounts to an admission that empire managers like Pete Ricketts really just want TikTok to be banned because young people are using it to share unauthorized ideas and information with each other, and would support its elimination even if they couldn’t justify it under the pretense of fighting China.

It’s probably also worth noting that Rickets has received at least $159,000 from the Israel lobby.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeated the fartbrained opinion she’s been voicing for months that anti-genocide demonstrations can be attributed to Russia, telling RTÉ News this past Wednesday that opposition to President Biden’s backing of an active genocide has “a Russian tinge to it”.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggests some pro-Palestinian protests, especially those against President Biden, have “a Russian tinge to it.”

“It's in Putin's interest for 'What's His Name' to win, and therefore I see some encouragement on the part of the Russians.”[/img]

“It’s in Putin’s interest for ‘What’s His Name’ to win, and therefore I see some encouragement on the part of the Russians,” said the longtime Democratic Party leader in reference to Donald Trump.

Anti-Defamation League president Jonathan Greenblatt says it’s actually Iran who’s tricking all these university students into thinking genocide is bad, telling MSNBC that the two main organizations behind the demonstrations — the Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace — are actually “campus proxies” of Iran.

“Iran has their military proxies like Hezbollah, and Iran has their campus proxies like these groups like SJP and JVP,” Greenblatt proclaimed on literally no basis whatsoever.

The Wall Street Journal tells us that rather than China, Russia or Iran, it’s actually Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis who are behind the university campus protests.

In an article titled “Who’s Behind the Anti-Israel Protests,” subtitled “Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and others are grooming activists in the U.S. and across the West,” The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Stalinsky makes another one of his signature chowderheaded arguments based entirely on vague insinuations, shoulder-socket-jeopardizing reach, Gish gallop fallacy, and no real evidence of any kind.

“Six months after the attack on Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and others aren’t merely cheering those protesting in the streets,” writes Stalinsky. “They are working with and grooming activists in the U.S. and the West, through meetings, online interviews and podcasts.”

No no, not meetings, online interviews and podcasts! No wonder they were able to hypnotize university students into opposing daily massacres against a walled-in population driven by ethnically motivated hatred.

Stalinsky runs a think tank called the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which was literally founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer. Pro-Palestine activist and academic Norman Finkelstein has accused MEMRI of using “the same sort of propaganda techniques as the Nazis,” and even brazenly unprincipled empire propagandist Brian Whitaker has written that MEMRI “poses as a research institute when it’s basically a propaganda operation.”

All this drooling imbecility about completely fictional foreign interference being responsible for these campus protests looks even more ridiculous as the Israeli prime minister unabashedly flexes his nation’s extensive influence over US politics to call for a crackdown on campus demonstrations.

“What’s happening in America’s college campuses is horrific. Antisemitic mobs have taken over leading universities,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, addressing the American public in his perfect American English.

“It has to be stopped,” Netanyahu continued. “It has to be condemned and condemned unequivocally. But that’s not what happened. The response of several university presidents was shameful. Now, fortunately, state, local, federal officials, many of them have responded differently but there has to be more. More has to be done.”

It is a very dark kind of hilarious to see imperial spinmeisters falling all over themselves trying to spin the campus protests as a product of imaginary foreign interference even as police launch violent crackdowns on those very same protesters across the United States to advance the interests of a foreign government.

It’s also a big loogie in the eye of any self-respecting free thinker. Unless your brain has been turned into bean curd by empire propaganda, the idea that young people would need to be manipulated into opposing the incomprehensible horrors that are being inflicted upon human beings in Gaza is an appalling insult to your intelligence.

But that just shows how desperate these freaks are getting. More and more people are waking up from the lies they’ve been fed about their government, their nation and their world as western institution after western institution completely discredits itself in the eyes of the mainstream public trying to defend the most indefensible things imaginable.

They’re frantically scrambling to try to remedy this PR crisis they’ve created for themselves, but everything they’ve tried so far has been a pathetic failure that has only made things worse for them, turning an entire generation into wide awake radicals whose bright young eyes will never, ever unsee what they have seen.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com.au/2024/04 ... -genocide/

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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Wed May 01, 2024 2:17 pm


How the New York Times fights America’s wars
Originally published: Mondoweiss on April 27, 2024 by Writers Against the War on Gaza (WAWOG) (more by Mondoweiss) | (Posted Apr 30, 2024)

On the morning of March 14, hundreds of protesters streamed into the lobby of the New York Times’ headquarters in midtown, Manhattan. Donning face masks and kuffiyehs, we unfurled a series of banners: one featuring a crossword puzzle with the words “boycott, divest, unsubscribe”; another containing the company’s logo with the word “Times” crossed out in red and replaced with “War Crimes.” After a few minutes, a chant rang out: “Free, free Palestine!” A chorus of voices responded in unison,

Free, free, free Palestine!

Just a few feet away, a very different scene unfolded. Esteemed editors and board members gathered for the annual “State of the Times” address, in which the company’s publisher, A. G. Sultzberger reflected on the journalism that the paperproduced—and the criticism it had generated—over the past year.

“In moments when the criticism is at its loudest and most fevered, we should remind ourselves why the Times receives such intense focus,” he said, perhaps to the encroaching sounds of the protesters’ chants.

Because the public reads us. Because they trust us. Because they expect a lot of us. Because they believe what we say matters. What a great privilege.

The occupation of the Times’ lobby—in which over 100 protesters were rounded up and arrested by the New York Police Department—was part of a series of coordinated actions around the city targeting the Times for its coverage of the zionist entity’s genocide in Gaza. Outside the building and across the boroughs, “paperboys” handed out fresh copies of the New York War Crimes, a bi-monthly publication of our organization, Writers Against the War on Gaza. Earlier that morning, a group of us blockaded the entrance of the company printing plant in College Point, Queens, severely limiting the circulation of that morning’s paper. And a new website was launched to house our systemic critique of the Times.

The multi-site action in mid-March marked a significant escalation in our campaign against the Times.

But why The New York Times?

All kingdoms require consent to function, for, as James Baldwin wrote in 1972, “no kingdom can maintain itself by force alone.” Consent is constructed through historical narrative, mythology which articulates why the kingdom’s dominance is justified.

A cynical, self-interested, blood-soaked history is not a sustainable narrative.

The ugly truth of U.S. empire—illegal wars, clandestine coups, napalm, fire, brimstone and the imposition of violent corporate governance—must be transformed into a palatable story. Much like the European empires of the 19th and 20th centuries cast themselves as the benevolent saviors of dark, savage worlds, the U.S. must also justify its flagrant abuses of power.

So who do they call on? Where does the empire go to launder its crimes?

Who dutifully produced a phony pretext for the brutal invasion of Iraq? Who presented the fraudulent case that Libya must be bombed? Where do the zionists turn to reinvigorate support for their increasingly sadistic and unpopular war?

The White House’s favorite accomplice, the so-called paper of record: The New York Times.

The Times is far from the only guilty institution, but it does occupy a special niche in the cultural consciousness. To paraphrase Sulzberger: the public reads and trusts the Times. When it screams across the front page that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and is ready to use them, people listen. The paper has the power to set the course of the news. Even those who do not read the Times likely consume media influenced by its editorial choices. As Rashid Khalidi told us:

It’s the gray lady. It’s the newspaper of record. It takes itself extremely seriously. It is relied upon by vast numbers of people. And it is, as far as my own concerns go–which is to say the Middle East–a thoroughly unreliable and extremely noxious agent. And has been for a very, very long time.

More materially, the Times is fast becoming the only game in town for journalism. It is the only large-scale, profitable paper in the U.S. It employs thousands of journalists, allowing it to cover far more ground than any other outlet. Its readership is massive, eclipsing the next few major newspapers combined.

The aftermath of Donald Trump’s election—when the Times subscriber base received a massive shot in the arm—demonstrated that many people see the Times as a bastion of progressive, muckraking journalism. It is broadly understood as a repository of objective knowledge and the platonic ideal of journalistic integrity.

This carefully cultivated reputation is a liberal fiction.

For decades, the empire’s crimes have been refracted through the Times’ surrealist prism. On the other side a narrative emerges that speaks not of the horrors which the U.S. unleashes on the world, but of benevolent international leadership, legitimate responses to existential threats, and the promotion of “democratic values.”

In the sordid pages of the Times, war crimes transform into necessary evils; right-wing coups are presented as popular movements toward democracy; and the context from which resistance to U.S. power arises is erased.

Our project—The New York War Crimes—makes a systematic case that the Times is not an unbiased fount of information, but a sophisticated ideological weapon. Despite its long and shameful history, the past seven months may be its darkest hour. The Times has stooped to new lows to depict Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza as a justified defensive war, providing cover for the occupation army’s relentless assault on hospitals and schools, while blaming Hamas for the mass murder of Palestinians.


The paper’s editors have hired former Israeli intelligence officers to fabricate pure atrocity propaganda and run glowing profiles of zionist propagandists who spread sensationalist lies about October 7th. For many months, the Times minimized the Israeli-engineered famine in northern Gaza, casting it as a natural disaster and rendering the perpetrator’s role invisible. Its journalism has grotesquely characterized women in the IOF carrying out a genocide as a victory for feminism. Israel’s mass murder of journalists has been absent from the Times’ coverage, despite its lofty rhetoric about protecting the free press. Unlike in the case of Ukraine, where the Times lionizes resistance to invasion, it does not acknowledge Palestinians’ right to resist occupation, siege and apartheid with counter-violence.

And in typical fashion, the Times has uncritically reprinted IOF claims despite their long and well-documented history of lying to the press. These lies have, in real time, helped justify ghastly war crimes like the invasions of al-Shifa Hospital and the Flour Massacre.

Our data-driven research (along with the work of others, like The Intercept) further exposed gross patterns of dehumanizing language, extreme bias in sourcing and refusal to report on unsavory developments. For example, the newspaper quoted Israeli and American sources more than three times as often as Palestinian ones. This trend is much starker when examining only quotations from officials. Israeli and American officials’ quotes outnumber Palestinians nine to one.

Since October 7th, we’ve published physical papers critiquing The New York Times’ coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, including a January edition, co-authored with the Feminist Solidarity Network for Palestine, which exposed the infamous Hamas mass rape story as atrocity propaganda. Our paper also platforms Palestinian artists, writers and poets–precisely who you will not see foregrounded in The New York Times. We have been honored to publish poetry, art and writing directly from Gaza, while paying those contributors and helping them raise money to evacuate.

The Times malfeasance is systematic. Case in point, our meticulous examination of The New York Times’ archive revealed a disgraceful history.

The paper demonizes U.S. enemies and supports U.S.-backed regime change, like in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Brazil (1964) and Bolivia (2019). It dutifully manufactures consent for U.S. wars, most famously through fraudulent claims that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons, and unsubstantiated stories which built a pretext for NATO intervention in Libya.

The Times also collaborates directly with the White House and the CIA to squash potentially damaging reporting. In 2004, under pressure from the Bush administration, the papershelved a bombshell report on a massive illegal NSA spying program until after Bush won re-election. Just days before the 1954 U.S.-backed coup which deposed Guatemalan leader Jacobo Árbenz, the Times pulled their correspondent out of the country at the behest of CIA Director Allen Dulles.

Our goal is to unmask the Times and expose the paper for what it is: a tool of empire encased in a liberal veneer.

We take our name from The New York Crimes, a project of the ACT-UP coalition, a grassroots project that leveled a powerful critique of the paper’s coverage of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. As Avram Finklestein, a co-producer of the original Crimes told us in an interview:

The New York Times is a capitalist rag, there’s just no way out of it. And yet, it’s considered to be a ‘liberal’ paper, even though it is so frequently wrong and politically pernicious.

Our ask of you is simple: boycott, divest, and unsubscribe. Do not purchase the Times’ recipes; do not play their games. If you work there, quit. If you’re unable to leave your job, leak us information. Talk to your family and friends who read the Times. Invest your time and money in independent media.

As Palestinian revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani famously wrote:

Imperialism has laid its body over the world, the head in Eastern Asia, the heart in the Middle East, its arteries reaching Africa and Latin America. Wherever you strike it, you damage it, and you serve the World Revolution.

On October 7, the Palestinian resistance created a rare opening in the empire’s armor. Ever since, the hypocrisy of the zionist entity’s chief accomplice has been on full display, from the White House press room where Biden aids express sympathy for the deaths the administration is funding to the college campuses where riot police are sent to arrest anti-war protesters. Institutions like the Times that maintain and reproduce the zionist narrative no longer appear invincible.

When we delegitimize the Times, we strike the empire’s central nervous system and undermine the myths that prop up its ailing body.

The NYT is liberal. The NYT is capitalist. There is no contradiction. Liberals, perhaps even more than conservatives, believe their own bullshit.
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Thu May 02, 2024 1:50 pm


CNN Compares Campus Protesters To Nazis In Stunning Propaganda Segment
Propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening to you, so hopefully they keep going mask-off like this for everyone to see.

Caitlin Johnstone
May 2, 2024

In one of the most appalling propaganda segments I have ever seen in my life, CNN’s Dana Bash launched into a fire-and-brimstone sermon on Wednesday comparing anti-genocide university protesters to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany — doing so in defense of a fascistic police crackdown against those very same protesters.

After playing a clip of Zionist activist Eli Tsives theatrically claiming campus protesters at UCLA were blocking him from his classroom, Bash solemnly said, “Again, what you just saw is 2024 in Los Angeles. Hearkening back to the 1930s in Europe, and I do not say that lightly. The fear among Jews in this country is palpable right now.”

According to journalist Jeremy Lindenfeld — who happens to be Jewish — Tsives wasn’t even being denied access to his classroom, but was only being denied access to the protesters’ encampment which he’d conveniently decided he wanted to walk through in order to get there. Dana Bash makes no mention of this, framing this instead as a terrifying attack on Jews which could soon see them being loaded onto trains headed for extermination camps.

Bash played a clip of New York City Mayor Eric Adams saying “There is a movement to radicalize young people, and I’m not going to wait until it’s done,” as though preventing the spread of radical political opinions is something a mayor is elected to do in the United States.

“They’re calling for a ceasefire,” says Bash. “Well, there was a ceasefire on October 6, the day before Hamas terrorists brutally murdered more than a thousand people inside Israel and took hundreds more as hostages.”

This is a brazen propagandistic lie. Israeli forces had been routinely murdering Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank in the weeks and months preceding the October 7 attack. On October 6 2023, The New Arab published an article titled “2023 is ‘deadliest year’ for Palestinian children say human rights groups,” citing the Defence of Children International — Palestine along with other sources.

“This hour, I’ll speak to an American Israeli family whose son is still held captive by Hamas since that horrifying day, that brought us to this moment,” said Bash, adding, “You don’t hear the pro-Palestinian protesters talking about that. We will.”

Ah yes, such brave, up-punching journalistic integrity for you to talk about the Israeli hostages, Dana. Not like we haven’t been hearing about them every single day from the imperial media for the last seven months while orders of magnitude more Palestinians are butchered by US-supplied war machinery.

“At UCLA, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups were attacking each other, hurling all kinds of objects, a wood pallet, fireworks, parking cones, even a scooter,” Bash says.

Another lie. The footage going around makes it abundantly clear the violence is being consistently instigated by Zionist counter-protesters, with videos of pro-Israel thugs launching fireworks and hurling bottles of chemicals into the encampment, ganging up on a protester on the ground and beating him with sticks, and tearing down parts of the encampment while screaming “Second Nakba!”

Later on in the same segment of Bash’s own show, CNN’s Stephanie Elam contradicts Bash’s both-sides lie by commenting on some of this footage, saying, “And you can see that in the video, it looked like people from this side were breaking down the encampment from the pro-Palestinian side last night, throwing objects in there. As well as it looks like some sort of maybe pepper spray or something coming from the other side over here.”

It should here be noted that Dana Bash gets her surname from her first husband Jeremy Bash, who went on to serve as the chief of staff for both the CIA and the Pentagon. The woman is pure swamp.

It should also be noted that CNN’s own staff recently leaked to The Guardian that they have been pressured to report on the Gaza onslaught with an extreme pro-Israel bias, attributing the pressure to the network’s new CEO Mark Thompson.

I for one think it’s great that the imperial media are becoming so transparently obvious about their propagandistic nature, and I hope they keep exposing mainstream westerners to the fact that the primary purpose of these outlets is to promote the information interests of the US and its allies.

Propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening to you, so hopefully they keep going mask-off like this for everyone to see.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com.au/2024/05 ... a-segment/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sun May 05, 2024 5:30 pm

Enforcing Silence on Genocide
May 4, 2024

The U.S. public should by now be realizing that instead of stopping genocide, U.S. institutional and media authority is actively stamping out cries to stop the mass murder being committed with U.S. complicity, writes Elizabeth Vos.


By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

Developments on university campuses and in Congress this week showed that the U.S. government’s top priority is not protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza, but to protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter.

Anti-genocide student protestors at Columbia University, demanding Columbia divest from Israel, occupied the campus’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday and renamed it Hind’s Hall after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza earlier this year. The Columbia protest has inspired more than 40 other anti-genocide university encampments across the country and in other nations.

On the morning the students occupied Hamilton Hall, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski compared the student protests to Jan. 6, calling for authorities to “just start arresting people.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti Defamation League, echoed the comparison in the same MSNBC segment. Other supporters of Israel also made the same Jan. 6 anaolgy on social media early Tuesday morning.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon wrote on X that the Columbia protest “feels January 6th ish to me” because the protesters had occupied a building. Not a federal government building, but a university hall. Has Lemon not heard of a sit-in?

Missing was the most apt and obvious comparison: the occupation of the same Columbia hall took place 56 years to the day since it was the site of a police crackdown on an historic student occupation against the Vietnam War.

Columbia University itself commemorates the anti-Vietnam War occupation of the same building by student protesters in 1968 on their own website. Nonetheless, the NYPD descended on the Hall on Tuesday night at the direct request of Columbia University President Minouche Shafik.

All the comparisons to Jan. 6 came less than 24 hours before the brutal crackdown at Columbia University and the City College of New York by the NYPD Tuesday night, in which almost 300 people were arrested.

Today: Destruction, violence and hate overtake college campuses across the country with Jewish students feeling unsafe at their own schools. It is unacceptable, and harkening back to the 1930s in Europe. Our @InsidePolitics show open, here. pic.twitter.com/RiPX0HZbUv

— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) May 1, 2024

Following the New York City arrests, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash argued on air that the protests were “harkening back to the 1930’s in Europe,” claiming some Jewish people in the U.S. “feel unsafe,” words that completely echoed those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

How unsafe did students at the University of Pennsylvania feel when a Zionist counter protester sprayed their belongings with an unknown substance?

A Zionist came into the Gaza encampment at University of Pennsylvania today spraying an unknown chemical across the area what the fuck is going on. pic.twitter.com/I6VsN3o21j

— James Ray ? (@GoodVibePolitik) May 1, 2024

How unsafe did students feel at multiple universities when police violently arrested professors trying to shield them? In one case in St. Louis, police broke the ribs of a 65-year-old Southern Illinois professor.

How safe did UCLA students feel when they were attacked with fireworks and bats by counter protesters?

In addition to the repulsive comparison with Nazis, Bash’s claim omits the context of previous legitimate antiwar protests that acted virtually identically to the current-era largely peaceful student actions.

These portrayals also excuse the police brutality that followed hours later and has continued since. Police reportedly allowed Zionist counter protesters to violently attack the UCLA encampment for hours without intervention on Tuesday night, only to clear the encampment the next evening using extreme force that included shooting students at close range with rubber bullets.

Bash and the rest of the talking heads focused on the feelings of Zionists in the U.S., deflecting from the horror taking place in Gaza, further dehumanizing civilians there.

The horror on the ground in Gaza is beyond imagination. We can’t say how many Palestinians have been killed, as the Gaza health authorities were forced to stop counting months ago when the healthcare system there collapsed under Israel’s assault. We’ve been using the ‘15,000 children have died’ number for months, there’s no telling how many have been killed, maimed, or orphaned to date.

The experience of witnessing this ceaseless genocide in the same moment that protests against it are violently put down was summed up by one social media user:

“I am watching a toddler die on a table in a field hospital in Rafah with half her face blown apart while listening to college students fight tears reporting on a police assault on their campus for protesting that, and I feel like I am losing my fucking mind.”

Also unmentioned by Morning Joe and Dana Bash is the fact that Israel’s prime minister is being actively shielded by the U.S. from being charged by the International Criminal Court.

It doesn’t stop there: corporate media and police are not the only parts of the establishment trying to silence students and wider criticism of Israel.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that, if made law, will codify a definition of anti-Semitism created by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) into Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal anti-discrimination law.

This would change the current definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel as hate speech. The IHRA sets out 11 examples of anti-Semitism.

Critics argue that the bill’s language is vague and would reportedly allow the federal Department of Education to restrict funding and other resources to campuses perceived as tolerating so-called “anti-Semitism,” not to mention the disbarring of discourse on social media platforms by citing “hate speech.” Multiple human rights groups have decried the bill.

Today, as anti-genocide protests continue across the nation, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to criminalize Americans’ First Amendment rights, expanding the definition of “anti-semitism” to include criticisms of Israel — eg, comparing Israel’s actions to that of the Nazis. pic.twitter.com/5M4jwsg2Mo

— Primo Radical ?? (@PrimoRadical) May 2, 2024

The latest House bill is an addition to the anti-BDS laws already in place across 38 states, many of which impact speech on university campuses. One example can be found in Arkansas, where a 2017 anti-BDS law forces speakers at the University of Arkansas to sign an anti-BDS pledge, or they will not be paid.

This resulted in legal action, but the Supreme Court ultimately refused to hear the case, allowing the law to stand in deference to the interests of a foreign nation.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn went further, calling for: “Any student who has promoted terrorism or engaged in terrorists acts on behalf of Hamas should be immediately be added to the terrorist watch list and placed on the TSA No Fly List.”

Any student who has promoted terrorism or engaged in terrorists acts on behalf of Hamas should be immediately be added to the terrorist watch list and placed on the TSA No Fly List.

— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 29, 2024

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar denounced Blackburn’s sentiments as “insanely dangerous.” But Blackburn wasn’t alone. House Speaker Mike Johnson also called on the F.B.I. to investigate protesters and suggested the National Guard should be deployed.

We’ve collectively realized that no one, no protective force nor institution of power is going to stop Israel’s violence.

The U.S. public should by now be realizing that instead of stopping genocide, U.S. institutional and media authority is actively stamping out cries to stop the mass murder being committed with U.S. complicity.

Covering for Israel is evidently more important to U.S. leaders than international law, than the lives of civilians or students, than freedom of speech, and even, it seems, their own re-election as they resist polls showing a majority of Americans want an end to the killing in Gaza.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/05/04/e ... -genocide/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Tue May 07, 2024 2:18 pm

Why Media Have Failed Gaza
May 6, 2024

The media’s job is to create uncertainty, doubt and confusion. Our job is to explode that lie, denying them and the political class an alibi, Jonathan Cook told a peace rally in Bristol on the weekend.

An entrance to the BBC broadcasting house in London. (Edwardx, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Jonathan Cook

It was fitting that we marked World Press Freedom Day last Friday by highlighting two things. First, honouring the brave journalists of Gaza who have paid a horrifying price for making the Palestinian experience of genocide visible to western audiences over the past seven months.

Israel has killed a tenth of their number — some 100 journalists — as it tries to prevent the truth of its atrocities from getting out. Israel’s has been the most deadly eruption of violence against journalists ever recorded.

Second, we must shame the western media — not least the BBC — who have so utterly betrayed their Palestinian colleagues by failing to properly report the destruction of Gaza, or name it as a genocide.

The BBC aired only the briefest coverage of South Africa’s devastating case against Israel at the International Court of Justice in January — a case so powerful the court has put Israel on trial for genocide. A fact you would barely know from the BBC’s reporting.

By contrast, the corporation cleared the schedules to present in full Israel’s hollow legal response.

The BBC’s double standards are all the more glaring if we recall how it reported Ukraine, also invaded by a hostile army – Russia’s.

Only two years ago the BBC dedicated its main news headlines to Kyiv’s citizens mass-producing molotov cocktails with which to greet Russian soldiers closing in on their city.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen felt emboldened to post — apparently approvingly — a diagram showing weak points where the improvised explosives would do most damage to Russian tanks, and the soldiers inside.

Two years later, in its coverage of Israel’s assault on Gaza, the same BBC has performed a 180-degree turn.

Double Standards

An Israeli tank on patrol. (Michael Mass/Yad la-Shiryon Museum)

It is quite impossible to imagine Bowen or any other British journalist posting instructions on how Palestinians might burn alive Israeli soldiers in their tanks – even though those soldiers, unlike Russia’s, have been occupying and stealing Palestinian lands for decades, not two years.

Israeli soldiers, unlike Russian soldiers, are now actively enforcing a genocidal policy of starvation.

But the double standards of establishment media like the BBC aren’t directed only towards the people of Gaza. They are directed at us, the public, too.

The same media that celebrated families taking in Ukrainian refugees has willingly conspired in the smearing of those whose only crime is that they wish to stop the slaughter of 15,000-plus Palestinian children in Gaza.

There is apparently nothing heroic about opposing Israel’s genocide, even if opposing Russia’s invasion is still treated as a badge of honour.

The media give politicians a free pass to vilify as an antisemite anyone outraged that U.K. weapons are being used to help kill, maim and orphan many, many tens of thousands of Palestinian children. That accusation assumes that every Jew supports this slaughter, and erases all those Jews standing alongside us today at this protest.

In the U.S., police forces are beating and arresting students who have peacefully called on their universities to stop investing in the arming of Israel’s genocide. When the police pulled back at UCLA, it was only to allow pro-Israel thugs to assault the students — again many of them Jews.

A clear war is being waged against the right to protest against a genocide. And in tandem, the media has declared a war on the English language.

BBC Reverses Roles

The roles of aggressor and victim have been reversed. The BBC accused the students, encamped on university grounds, of “clashing” with pro-Israel groups that invaded the campus to violently attack them.

What explains these glaring inconsistencies, this gigantic failure by a media that’s supposed to act as a watchdog on the abuse of power?

Part of the answer is old-school racism. Ukrainians look like us, as some reporters let slip, and therefore deserve our solidarity. Palestinians, it seems, do not.

But there is another, more important answer. The establishment media isn’t really a watchdog on the abuse of power. It never was. It is a narrative factory, there to create stories that make those abuses of power possible.

State and billionaire-owned media achieve this goal through various sleights of hand. First, they omit stories that might disrupt the core narrative.

The media’s script is a simple one: What the West and its allies do is always well-meant, however horrific the outcomes.

And what the West does, however provocative or foolhardy, can never be cited as an explanation for what our “enemies” do.

No cause and no effect. They, whoever we select, are simply savage. They are evil. They are out to destroy civilisation. They must be stopped.

Nightly for weeks, I have watched the BBC news. If it were all I relied on, I would barely know that Israel is daily bombing the refugee camps of Rafah that are supposedly a “safe zone.”

Or that Israel continues to engineer a famine by blocking aid, and that Palestinians continue to die of hunger. Or that the U.K. has actively assisted the creation of that famine by denying UNRWA funding.

Or that the protests to end the Gaza genocide — painted as terror-supporting and antisemitic — are backed by many, many Jews, some of them here today.

And of course, I would have little idea that Israel’s imprisonment and slaughter of Palestinians did not begin on Oct. 7 with Hamas’ attack.

That’s because the BBC continues to ignore the siege of Gaza as the context for Oct. 7 — just as it and the rest of the media largely ignored the 17-year siege throughout the years Israel was enforcing it.

If I relied on the BBC, I would not understand that what Israel is doing can be neither “retaliation”, nor a “war.” You can’t go to war, or retaliate, against a people whose territory you have been belligerently occupying and stealing for decades.

And when the media can no longer omit, it distracts — through strategies of deflection, misdirection and minimisation.

So, when Gaza makes the news, as it rarely does now, it is invariably filtered through other lenses.

The focus is on interminable negotiations, on Israel’s plans for the “day after” on the agonies of the hostages’ families, on the fears evoked by protest chants, on where to draw the line on free speech.

Anything to avoid addressing a genocide that’s been carried out in broad daylight for seven months.

In their defence, establishment journalists tell us that they have a duty to be impartial. Their critics, they say, do not understand how news operations work.

As a journalist who spent years working in major newsrooms, I can assure you this is a self-serving lie.

Lies Challenged

Just this week, an interview went viral of the Norway Broadcasting Corporation interviewing Israeli government spokesman David Mencer. Unlike on the BBC, Mencer’s lies did not pass unchallenged.

The Norwegian journalist spent 25 minutes unpicking his falsehoods and deceptions, one by one. It was revelatory to see an Israeli spokesperson’s claims stripped away, layer by layer, until he stood there naked, his lies exposed.

It can be done — if there is a will to do it.

Journalists at the BBC and the rest of the establishment media understand, however implicitly, that their job is to fail. It is to fail to investigate the genocide in Gaza. It is to fail to give voice to the powerless. It is to fail to provide context and aid understanding. It is to fail to show solidarity with their colleagues in Gaza being killed for their journalism.

Rather, the BBC’s role is to protect the political establishment from ever being held to account for their complicity in genocide. The establishment media’s job is to create the impression of uncertainty, of doubt, of confusion – even when what is happening is crystal clear.

When one day, the World Court finally gets round to issuing a ruling on Israel’s genocide, our politicians and media will claim they could not have known, that they were misled, that they could not see clearly because events were shrouded by the “fog of war.”

Our job is to explode that lie, to deny them an alibi. It is to keep pointing out that the information was there from the start. They knew, if only because we told them. And one day, if there is any justice, they will stand in the dock — at the Hague — their excuses stripped away.

This piece is a transcript of Jonathan Cook’s speech for the Bristol Palestine Alliance’s March Against Media Bias at College Green, Bristol, on Saturday May 4.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/05/06/w ... iled-gaza/(Back in the day I thought BBC was the 'gold standard'. When I was a child I thought childish things. Today it is plain that BBC is in fact even more reactionary than npr.

History Is Indispensable to Journalism
May 6, 2024

It’s missing from corporate journalism for a reason and for the same reason is a big part of Consortium News.

Israeli army in Gaza in 1956. (National Library of Israel/Wikimedia Commons)

You cannot understand a conflict without understanding its history. That’s why historical context is routinely suppressed by corporate media, such as in the Palestinian-Israel conflict and the war between Russia and Ukraine. They don’t want you to understand.

For establishment journalists, the violence in Gaza began on Oct. 7, 2023 and in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Understanding the Palestinian conflict from 1948 forward, and the Ukraine war from the 2014 overthrow of the Ukrainian government and the start of the civil war completely changes one’s perception.

So establishment media suppresses this history because it’s a perception they don’t want you to have. It goes against its agenda to promote Western foreign policies, rather than reporting on them.

In 1956, Moshe Dayan, then chief of the Israeli general staff, looked into both the recent past and to today to warn:

“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. … We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”

Dayan understood the indispensability of historical context, even when it pointed to his own side’s guilt.

It’s a history of the still ongoing process of the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Arabs by Israel, in the face of the foundational myth of a land without people for a people without a land. It’s a history understood by student protestors across the U.S., which is why the state and the media want them silenced.

We have published numerous articles on the history of the Palestinian conflict and last year we ran a timeline that explained the war in Ukraine in a completely different way from what Western governments and media are telling us.

History is an invaluable part of Consortium News‘ reporting. Please contribute today to CN‘s Spring Fund Drive to help us to continue providing rare but essential historical context.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/05/06/h ... ournalism/

Historical context is perhaps the greatest enemy of imperialist propaganda.
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Sat May 11, 2024 2:12 pm

New Lines Magazine (Photo / Illustration: MintPress News)

From PropOrNot to New Lines: How Washington is weaponizing media
By Alan MacLeod (Posted May 11, 2024)

Originally published: MintPress News on May 10, 2024 (more by MintPress News) |

New Lines Magazine purports to be an independent media organization. Yet it constantly attacks genuine alternative media who stray from Washington’s official foreign policy line, all while employing many spooks, spies and other figures at the heart of the national security state.

Worse still, its parent organization, the New Lines Institute, has recently admitted to being directly funded by the U.S. government. MintPress News takes a closer look at this shady organization acting as Washington’s attack dog.

If you read the Wikipedia entries for many alternative media outlets, they are written off as fringe conspiracy websites pushing debunked foreign propaganda. MintPress News, for example, is described as a “far-left news website” which “publishes disinformation and antisemitic conspiracy theories.” The Grayzone is similarly smeared as a “fringe” blog known for its “misleading reporting” and “sympathetic coverage of authoritarian regimes” such as Syria, Venezuela and China.

The evidence for these evidence-light smears comes primarily from the U.S. foreign policy journal, New Lines Magazine, a product of the New Lines Institute. New Lines is a very new organization that was established only in 2020. Despite this, it has already become a key player in setting U.S. agendas worldwide, boasting a staff of more than 50 and working with over 150 contributors. Headquartered on the prestigious Massachusetts Avenue NW (some of the most expensive real estate in the world), it sits between foreign embassies and many of America’s most prestigious think tanks, a stone’s throw—metaphorically and physically—from the White House.

New Lines describes its goal as “seeking to shape U.S. foreign policy” based on a “deep understanding of distinct regional geopolitics and value systems.” It began by focusing solely on the Middle East but quickly expanded to cover Ukraine, China, Venezuela and other political hotspots that most concern hawks in Washington. It certainly shapes public debate, and its research and experts are regularly quoted in influential outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN.

New Lines presents itself as an independent organization, claiming that it is “one of the few think tanks in Washington with no foreign or local agendas.” Yet its higher ranks are packed with former state officials.

Chief amongst them is New Lines Institute founder and president Ahmed Alwani. Alwani served on the advisory board of the U.S. military’s Africa Command and influenced Washington’s Middle East positions. His New Lines biography boasts that he “met the commanding generals of Fort Jackson, Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Base Andrews as well as then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his staff numerous times during the Iraq War to consult on U.S. policy”—something many might not consider a badge of honor.

Alwani also founded Fairfax University, a controversial private educational institution that Virginia state regulators considered shutting down in 2019. Auditors found that “teachers weren’t qualified to teach their assigned courses,” academic quality was “patently deficient,” plagiarism was “rampant,” and students’ English levels were “abysmally poor,” making Fairfax look far more like a degree mill than a legitimate university.

New Lines’ senior director, Faysal Itani, has a similarly notable past. Before joining the organization, Itani was simultaneously a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council—a NATO-funded think tank that serves as the brains of the military alliance, and an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University—a department a previous MintPress News investigation exposed as a department filled with CIA agents that functions as a training ground for the next generation of American spies.

Another senior director, Nicholas Heras, was central to U.S. actions in Iraq and Syria. Between 2013 and 2014, Heras was a research associate at the National Defense University (an institution funded and overseen by the Pentagon). While there, he worked with military leaders at U.S. Central Command, Special Operations Command and the broader U.S. intelligence community, briefing them on matters relating to the two countries.

Other key New Lines staff members with similar pasts include Tashi Chogyal, who served in the Obama administration at the Department of Justice and as a special assistant to the administrator of USAID, an organization that has overseen a host of foreign regime change operations; Kamran Bokhari, formerly the Central Asia Studies Course Coordinator at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute; Tanya Domi, a 15-year U.S. Army veteran who also served at the State Department as a spokesperson and counsel for multiple American ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina; Tammy Palacios, currently employed by the United States Military Academy as a counter-terrorism research fellow and Michael Weiss, a non-resident senior research fellow at NATO’s Atlantic Council.

When it comes to attacking alternative media, Weiss, in particular, has a notable past. In late 2016, an anonymous organization called PropOrNot published a list of some 200 websites that it classified as routine peddlers of Russian disinformation. Many leading alternative media outlets were on that list, including MintPress News, WikiLeaks, Truthout, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism and Antiwar.com. The charges were false, but the effect was staggering.

The PropOrNot list went viral, boosted by mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, which insinuated that a massive, Kremlin-controlled propaganda network was responsible for Donald Trump’s electoral victory. Google, Facebook and other prominent social media platforms subsequently changed their algorithms to punish the outlets on the list and promote “authoritative” content like the Washington Post or Fox News. MintPress News lost more than 90% of its Google search traffic almost overnight, never to return. It was later revealed that PropOrNot was likely Weiss’ brainchild, meaning that the hysteria over foreign government interference in our media was probably a domestic government-funded operation.

A number of other key New Lines staff also previously worked at Stratfor, an organization often referred to as the “shadow CIA,” a private group carrying out intelligence gathering on behalf of the U.S. government.

Perhaps the most notable New Lines Institute employee, however, is non-resident fellow Elizabeth Tsurkov. Tsurkov is a Russian-born Israeli who, before joining New Lines, worked at a number of hawkish think tanks, including the Atlantic Council and Freedom House.

She grew up in Israel and served for many years in Israeli military intelligence, including during Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon. She also worked directly for former Israeli Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky. In 2015, she published a photo of her at the Pentagon, claiming she was on a “special mission accompanied by the State Department.”

Tsurkov was an obscure figure who only came to international attention in 2023 when she was arrested in Baghdad, carrying out what authorities described as a spying mission. The news made worldwide headlines, with many official figures in the West leaping to her defense, describing the charges as ridiculous.

It transpired that she had concealed her identity, entering Iraq on a Russian passport, and presented herself as a Russian researcher and supporter of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A 2022 video interview shows Tsurkov in Baghdad dressed in a khimar — a modest black dress and head covering. “It is clear that Muqtada al-Sadr is a patriotic figure who rejects intervention from any country, whether in the West or the East… In my opinion, this should be the position of every Iraqi political leader,” Tsurkov says, adding that the United States is an “oppressor” nation.

This is a blatant deception, given that she is a former Israeli intelligence officer who worked for NATO’s think tank. In fact, Tsurkov has long taken hostile, anti-Shia positions, supported Sunni militias in Syria and championed U.S. military intervention in the region.

For years, she was one of the most outspoken Syria regime change hawks online, downplaying the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels’” connections to Al-Qaeda and even promoting the “Gay Girl in Damascus” blog—an online personality purporting to be a Syrian opposition organizer that was later unmasked as a pro-regime change hoax run by an American student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Tsurkov initially claimed she was in Iraq to conduct academic research for Princeton University. This was also the position taken by the Israeli government (whose laws prohibit its citizens from traveling to Iraq without special dispensation). “She is an academic who visited Iraq on her Russian passport, at her own initiative pursuant to work on her doctorate and academic research on behalf of Princeton University in the U.S.,” stated the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Princeton, however, categorically denied that it had allowed her to go to Iraq on university business.

Thus, very little about her story makes any sense, leading many to conclude that Iraqi authorities were correct in their assessment of Tsurkov. Adding weight to this theory is the complete radio silence from New Lines since her arrest and imprisonment. In more than one year, neither the New Lines Institute nor its magazine has released so much as a sentence addressing the detention of one of the institute’s more senior staff members.

In a video released in November, Tsurkov stated that she was actually in Iraq on behalf of the CIA and Israeli intelligence outfit Mossad. Her goals were to foment intra-Shia division and strife and to organize and support anti-corruption protests. She also said that she traveled to Syria to build ties between Israel and the (Sunni) Syrian opposition forces. Given that she had been detained for over half a year by this point, it is not clear if she was coerced into “confessing.”

Studying their output, it is clear that New Lines has two principal targets: nations the U.S. has deemed enemy states and alternative media outlets that question the narratives that New Lines and the U.S. government are trying to establish. Indeed, New Lines has spent years investigating alternative media, promoting a narrative that opposition to U.S. foreign policy equals being in the pay of official enemy countries.

A 2022 article titled “How the Pro-Putin West Is Coping With Russian Defeat in Ukraine” presented journalists such as Max Blumenthal and Michael Tracey, as well as renowned academic Professor Noam Chomsky as Kremlin admirers, and claimed that Ukraine’s “lightning counteroffensive” and the “rapid territorial advances” had left Russia defeated. News of this defeat will no doubt surprise many reading in 2024. But this sort of disinformation about disinformation has become a common method of attacking and smearing anti-war voices.

Another article describes what it calls an “echo chamber” of Syria “conspiracy theorists.” It mentions MintPress News and a host of other alternative media outlets, including Consortium News, Project Censored, Free Speech TV, Media Roots, Shadow Proof, The Grayzone, Truthout, Common Dreams and Antiwar.com.

New Lines again attacked MintPress News for our coverage of Latin America, claiming that we backed “leftist dictatorships” by “looking the other way” as they crushed protests. The report appeared particularly annoyed that we did not support the 2021 Cuban protests—a movement it lionized as an anti-racist uprising led by the local hip-hop community. MintPress showed that the Cuban demonstrations were led by artists funded, trained, and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, which are part of the same network that funds New Lines.

Groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, as well as journalist Ben Norton and author and public intellectual Vijay Prashad, were also singled out for their support for anti-imperial governments in Latin America.

Considering its output, its constant support for U.S. policy and attacks on both domestic and international opponents of Washington, speculation was rife that the U.S. government was secretly funding New Lines. But the institute had always denied this, presenting itself as a neutral, agenda-free organization. That was, at least, until late last year when it announced that it had reached a “cooperative agreement” with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point to “jointly develop actionable recommendations for U.S. global leadership to address pressing global security challenges.” In other words, to plan out American military strategy. The New Lines Institute also noted that they would now “serve as an intellectual resource for solving military problems.”

Days later, New Lines’ “About Us” section was updated, removing all reference to being funded by the Fairfax Foundation and inserting a clause admitting U.S. government financial support, strongly suggesting that the military is now bankrolling it. It now reads (emphasis added):

Funding for The New Lines Institute is provided by the The [sic] Washington Institute for Education and Research, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization registered in Washington DC.

New Lines Institute accepts research grants and charitable donations from U.S. individuals, registered U.S. legal entities, and the U.S. Government in support of its research priorities, and only insofar as such support is in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations; aligns with the institute’s vision, mission, purpose and principles; and falls within its core areas of expertise.

The news did not come as a shock to those paying close attention. “It will come as a surprise to no-one that New Lines is funded by the U.S. government,” wrote investigative journalist Matt Kennard on Twitter.

There is a certain tenor to the articles of these cut-outs that is instantly recognizable. Slightly critical—to be convincing—but only up to a point which leaves state narratives robust.

Others were even more scathing. “Congrats to New Lines on their new collaboration with the Modern War Institute at West Point Military Academy,” quipped The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté;

A good reminder that people who smear Grayzone and other independent journalists as state-funded are often projecting.

With their quiet admission of U.S. government funding, New Lines joins an ever-growing list of organizations like Graphika and Bellingcat that present themselves as independent but are funded by the U.S. government. Former U.S. state and intelligence officials staff them and dutifully repeat U.S. government narratives and talking points.

Through their reports and studies, groups like New Lines launder Washington’s narratives into the public domain, smuggled in under the guise of objectivity. Worse still, New Lines has been at the forefront of attacking and demonizing the few dissenting voices left in American society, their reports being used to further marginalize alternative media—the only place where serious domestic critique of U.S. foreign policy can occur. It is, therefore, doubly crucial that organizations like New Lines are understood for precisely what they are: the State Department’s attack dogs.

https://mronline.org/2024/05/11/from-pr ... new-lines/
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Re: Censorship, fake news, perception management

Post by blindpig » Wed May 15, 2024 2:33 pm

MCA: Shining the Spotlight on the Octopus’s Hollywood Tentacle
By Melanie L. Carlson - May 14, 2024 0

Ronald Reagan and Lew Wasserman [Source: economist.com]

The Octopus Murders docuseries about the suspicious death of journalist Danny Casolaro in August 1991 has caused quite the sensation since it was released February 28 on Netflix.

Casolaro’s goal to uncover “the Octopus”—a cabal of CIA and Mafia figures who corrupted American government—was so all-consuming that it enveloped his physical life and his legacy as a writer. Yet, there are significant omissions in the public’s understanding of “the Octopus.”

[Source: media.netflix.com]

Danny Casolaro [Source: rollingstone.com]

This includes a spotlight on the intersection of conglomerates Music Corporation of America (MCA) Inc. and Litton Industries, as well as how “the Octopus” intersected with the work of Danny’s father. Shortly before Danny died, he reportedly told FBI agent Thomas Gates he had damning information about MCA’s involvement with other tentacles of The Octopus.

There was a decades-long intimacy between people in the Reagan administration, MCA and Litton Industries. Even more curious is that Litton would ultimately buy Bionetics Research Laboratories, a company founded by Dr. Joseph Casolaro. This article aims to help those familiar with Danny’s case understand that Danny may have been much closer to breaking the case than previously acknowledged.

MCA’s Monopoly in Hollywood

Jules C. Stein [Source: walthercollection.com]

Music Corporation of America (MCA) was founded by Jules Stein in 1924. MCA began as a talent booking agency in Chicago nightclubs during Prohibition. From the beginning, MCA had ties to Al Capone and organized crime figures in Chicago stayed intact for decades to come,[1] relocating its headquarters to Hollywood where it would expand and diversify.

It was always known for its aggressive business tactics and faced multiple investigations during its reign. MCA began to receive national attention in 1946 during a federal antitrust case.

Source: amazon.com]

“In deciding against MCA, the judge called the talent agency ‘the Octopus … with tentacles reaching out to all phases and grasping everything in show business.’”

– Dan E. Moldea, Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA, and the Mob

Ronald Reagan and Lew Wasserman

Lew Wasserman, who had been Ronald Reagan’s talent agent, took over MCA in 1946. The ascendancy of Ronald Reagan’s political career coincides with MCA’s dominance in the entertainment industry. Wasserman would facilitate Reagan’s rise to President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) (1947-1952 and 1959-1960), Governor of California and ultimately President of the United States. Furthermore, as an actor, Reagan was also an informant to the FBI on alleged communist sympathizers during the Red Scare.

As President of SAG, Reagan gave MCA a waiver in 1952 so it could represent talent and become television producers, which created a significant conflict of interest. Conversely, SAG’s highest priority in contract negotiations was for producers to pay residuals to talent when their work was rebroadcast on television. Because MCA agreed to pay residuals, this became standard practice for all of the production studios.

Ronald Reagan when he was head of the Screen Actors Guild. [Source: csmonitor.com]

Antitrust Enforcement in Hollywood
The swift collapse of the Hollywood studio system was hastened by the Supreme Court’s 1948 ruling in favor of the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s antitrust case against the studios. This resulted in the Paramount Decrees, which were a boon for actors’ earning power, stature and creative freedom. Yet, this industry restructuring was even more beneficial to talent agents who were now able to have the upper hand by bundling superstars into package deals.

MCA’s 1962 Antitrust Case
MCA came under another DOJ antitrust investigation when Robert F. Kennedy became Attorney General in 1961. MCA[2] had been pursuing the acquisition of Universal Pictures, which would have been a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and destroyed the distinction between labor and management. At that time MCA had “700 actors and actresses under contract, 300 Broadway actors, all the ‘Big Bands’ and major nightclubs in the largest cities.”[3] There were also widespread concerns in Hollywood that MCA was abusing its monopoly power.

On July 13, 1962, the federal government filed a civil antitrust case against MCA, with SAG named as a co-conspirator. In less than two weeks MCA agreed to dissolve its talent agency business, which was only a small fraction of its business.

Variety, July 18, 1962. [Source: royalbooks.com]

“The government had evidence that MCA had engaged in numerous civil and criminal violations of law and empaneled a federal grand jury to hear the specifics of its charges, which included restraint of trade, conspiracy with SAG to monopolize talent and film program productions, extortion, discrimination, blacklisting, and the use of predatory business practices. Among those called to testify was Ronald Reagan, who displayed a remarkable loss of memory while on the witness stand. Soon after, the federal income tax records of Reagan and his wife were subpoenaed for the years following the MCA-SAG blanket waiver.”

– Dan Moldea, Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob

The final judgment in the case of United States v. MCA Inc. was entered on October 18, 1962. Everything had been resolved behind closed doors without any admission of guilt or significant consequences. MCA did have restraints placed upon its future mergers and acquisitions; although there was no issue with its recent acquisition of Decca Records and Universal Pictures. Decca Records would become MCA Records.

A Back-Door Deal?
In the wake of the 1962 antitrust case Wasserman realized he needed to build stronger connections in D.C. He focused on cultivating a strong relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson and becoming a more ardent political fundraiser.[4]

Wasserman even handpicked LBJ’s close confidante Jack Valenti to come to Hollywood in 1966 and become the President of the Motion Picture Association of America—the chief lobbying group for the film industry.[5]

Jack Valenti, left, with Lyndon B. Johnson. [Source: nytimes.com]

The entrance of LBJ into the White House ushered in a new era of closeness between Hollywood and D.C. Yet, how close had their enforcement arms become? History bares out the increasing permeability between the activity of organized crime and the military-industrial complex.

“The Central Intelligence Agency responded to the author’s three-year old Freedom of Information Act request in June 1998, acknowledging that seventeen separate computer searches revealed MCA did work with the CIA. The CIA refused to release any of its MCA documents on grounds that it might endanger national security.” – The Last Mogul, Dennis McDougal (pp. 339-40).

MCA may have been acting in some capacity as an international front for the intelligence services. But how deep was the collaboration? In 1972 Wasserman announced MCA’s development of the first proto-DVD player called DiscoVision, which garnered interest from the CIA so it could easily transport and retrieve classified materials. While the product never came to market, Wasserman did create a joint venture with Pioneer Electronics called Universal Pioneer Corporation, who did have the CIA as a client.[6]

(Much more at link. The extent of propaganda in the USA is mind-numbing, literally. Corruption is business as usual in a corrupt society.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2024/0 ... -tentacle/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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